TROPICAL STORM ‘NONA’ INTENSIFIES FURTHER; STORM SIGNAL NO. 1 RAISED OVER SAMAR PROVINCES

MANILA — Public Storm Warning Signal No. 1 was raised over Samar provinces as severe tropical storm “Nona” intensified further and continued to threaten the Samar-Bicol Area, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Sunday.

In an interview, PAGASA weather forecaster Buddy Javier said that as of 4 a.m., the center of storm “Nona” was estimated based on all available data at 605 kilometers east of Borongan, Eastern Samar (11.6N, 131.0E) packed with maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 120 kph. It is forecast to move west-northwest at 19 kph.

He also said that the storm is expected to intensify into typhoon category since it is still in the sea.

Maintaining its speed and movement, the tropical storm is expected to make landfall in Samar-Bicol area on Monday night, Javier said.

PSWS) No. 1 (30-60 kph winds expected in 36 hours) is hoisted over the Samar provinces.

Javier also said the state-run weather bureau also issued a gale warning due to the effects of “Nona” as the sea condition would be rough to very rough due to strong to gale force winds expected to affect the eastern seaboard of Southern Luzon.

“Fishing boats and other small seacraft are advised not to venture out into the sea while larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves,” it warned.

The estimated rainfall amount is from moderate to heavy within the 100-km diameter of the storm.

PAGASA also said it is possible for PSWS #1 to be raised over the Bicol region on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Javier said the northeast monsoon is affecting Northern Luzon.

The northeast monsoon or “hanging amihan” is the cold wind from China and Siberia that blows into the country from late October until mid-February. It is usually associated with the Christmas season.

For Sunday weather forecast, Samar provinces will experience rains with gusty winds while cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and isolated thunderstorms will be experienced over the provinces of Surigao, Dinagat Island and Bicol region.

Cloudy skies with light rains are expected over Batanes, Calayan and Babuyan group of Islands while partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains will be experienced over Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon.

Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms will prevail over the rest of the country.

In its advisory, PAGASA said moderate to strong winds blowing from the northeast will prevail over Northern Luzon and eastern section of Luzon and the Visayas and the coastal waters along these areas will be moderate to rough.

Elsewhere, winds will be light to moderate coming from the northeast to northwest with slight to moderate seas. Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan/PNA